Automotive mobile app security

The prevailing trend in the connected car industry has shown that that major car brands have been embracing mobile apps for convenience functions like starting a car or unlocking the trunk. But today, many vehicle manufacturers are embracing mobile apps to control functionality inside cars as well. That screen on your dashboard that resembles a phone screen and those app tiles that you see?  They are very likely the exact same apps that are running on your phone.

Apps are being used everywhere in the connected car industry! There are the apps users install on their phones to unlock their car, schedule maintenance, or even find parking nearby. There may even be apps that car manufacturers make available to service technicians for maintenance and diagnostics – giving technicians access to the internal vehicle controls. Security around these apps needs to be robust, as the stakes are high for the consumer if their car becomes compromised through an app hack.

There are also a lot of apps that consumers can’t see – the apps running in a car’s head unit, also referred to as the car’s infotainment system. Some of these apps may be written by the car manufacturer or even third-party vendors. Think of services like music streaming apps or navigation apps. When car companies start to manage their own app ecosystems, they become responsible for the security of the apps, whether they wrote them or not. After all, if a malicious app gets installed in a car and causes a news-worthy problem, there’s no doubt that the car manufacturer will be made to blame.

So, how do you ensure security for apps written by third parties?

This week at TU Automotive, we are talking about how vital it is to have all apps protected with a robust security solution. The beauty of an app protection solution that can be applied to fully built mobile apps without code changes, means that it can easily be applied to third party apps just as easily. This just might be the solution to help address the security needs of these branded app ecosystems in the automotive industry. Want to learn how Irdeto can help?

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